Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Time, gentleman, please!

North Dakota legislators had introduced HCR 3034 and passed it at the pleadings of Secretary of State Al Jaeger. The old-timer had argued his office needed more time: time to review petitions, time to accommodate legal challenges to ballot measures.

Democracy can be such a fast-moving target, er, process, you know.

HCR 3034 became Measure 1, a constitutional amendment to change one thing: the length of time citizens had to circulate petitions. It moved the deadline for signature turn-in from 90 days prior to an election to 120 days prior, thereby cutting 30 days from the citizens and giving it to the Secretary of State, who assured everybody that his extra time would “safeguard the credibility of the petition process.”

The measure passed two weeks ago, in part because it was conducted in a low-turnout primary election.

Most times politicians avoid citizen input altogether, in their fight against initiative. But in this case, politicians nudged citizens into sacrificing their own advantages to make it easier for the insider class.

It’s admittedly not catastrophic. Worse anti-initiative measures have passed elsewhere.

But could there have been a telltale sign of the malign intent here, not seen by the voters? Nixing those 30 days did at least one crucial thing: it disallowed signature gathering at the biggest and most popular event in the state: the state fair.

Could it be that it was not “time” at issue, but timing?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


P.S. You can follow initiative and ballot access news at Citizens in Charge.

By: Redactor


  1. JATR says:


  2. Rick says:

    Here’s a place i think you could gather up a wave of support:

    Hospitals infect people every day with MRSA and other staph infections through the operating table, other procedures. When said patient comes in, gets staph infection, why should it be the patients responsibility to pay the bills? Usually to clear MRSA it’s a minimum of 3 weeks on vancomycin(which can kill kidneys), then home treatment after the first week, massive bills to pay to the hospital and other providers.

    Since the hospital caused the infection, why shouldn’t they be responsible for the bills?

    Many say the hospitals way under-report the incidence of MRSA to avoid bad publicity but most think all hospitals are having issues…….then in perverse fashion, they get to bill more and more services to fight a problem they caused.

  3. Lynn Atherton Bloxham says:

    Betcha your hunch is right. State Fairs are a great place to get signatures. Lots of people who are not in too big a hurry to sign something. Ballot Access signature gathering has been the curse laid upon the Libertarians.

    Rick: Thanks for the comment on MRSA. Two friends just contacted it after heart surgery. Just what they needed. (sarcasm)

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